User-Based Free Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Free innovation is a tightly constrained subset of commons-based peer production , - also known as open, collaborative innovation. In contrast, while free innovation has potentially important economic impacts, it’s fundamentally not about money.

The Puzzling Personal Productivity Paradox

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Yet, despite these impressive advances, for most of this period economies around the world have been stuck in an era of slow productivity growth. Opinions abound, but in the end, there’s no consensus on the causes of this apparent productivity paradox , on how long the slowdown will likely last, or on what to do about it. A few contend that there’s been a fundamental decline in innovation and productivity over the past few decades, compared to the period between 1870 and 1970.

Insiders

Sign Up for our Newsletter

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

What is innovation?

Harold Jarche

In writing almost 100 posts on innovation since 2007, it’s time to put the core observations together into a cohesive narrative. Innovation is fifteen different things to fifteen different people. “An innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations.” An Innovation Process?

AI and the Productivity Paradox

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, at the same time, productivity growth has significantly declined over the past decade, and income has continued to stagnate for the majority of Americans. This puzzling contradiction is addressed in Artificial Intelligences and the Modern Productivity Paradox , a working paper recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Economists have proposed competing explanations for declining productivity growth and so far have failed to reach a consensus.” .

The Productivity Puzzle

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Economic growth has two main components, productivity growth and the growth of the labor force. I ncreasing productivity is thus more crucial than ever to promote economic growth. But, in the US and other advanced economies, productivity growth has significantly slowed down over the past few decades. From 1987 to 2004 US labor productivity grew at a 2.1% Since 2011, the productivity rate has further declined to 0.6%. . US labor productivity grew at only 1.5%

Robocalypse Now? Technology, Productivity and Employment

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

His presentation was based on a paper co-written with Utrecht University economist Anna Salomons. “Is productivity growth inimical to employment?,” More importantly, technological progress also took the form of product innovation, and thus created entirely new sectors for the economy, a development that was essentially missed in the discussions of economists of this time.”. Previous technological innovation has always delivered more long-run employment, not less.

The Current State of Open Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In January, UC Berkeley professor Henry Chesbrough published Open Innovation Results : Going Beyond the Hype and Getting Down to Business, his fourth book on innovation in the last two decades. Chesbrough is adjunct professor and faculty director of the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He’s credited with coining the term open innovation in his 2003 book of the same title. Business model innovation.

Open Innovation 2.0

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I recently read Twelve Principles for Open Innovation 2.0 , an article published last year in Nature by Martin Curley. Curley, - who’s long been involved with innovation in both his business and academic positions, - nicely summarized its evolution over the past several decades, first from closed to open innovation, and now to what he calls open innovation 2.0. Let me discuss each of these phases of innovation. Closed Innovation. Open Innovation.

The Science of Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Innovation - identified by MIT economist and Nobel laureate Robert Solow as the driver of long-term, sustainable economic growth and prosperity - has been a hallmark of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since its inception.” Thus starts The MIT Innovation Initiative: Sustaining and Extending a Legacy of Innovation , the preliminary report of a yearlong effort to define the innovation needed to address some of the world’s most challenging problems.

AI and the Productivity Paradox

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, at the same time, productivity growth has significantly declined over the past decade, and income has continued to stagnate for the majority of Americans. This puzzling contradiction is addressed in Artificial Intelligences and the Modern Productivity Paradox , a working paper recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Economists have proposed competing explanations for declining productivity growth and so far have failed to reach a consensus.” .

The New Era of Smart, Connected Products

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

For the past few years, some have justifiably questioned whether innovation has been going through a period of stagnation , especially when compared to major 19th and 20th century innovations like electricity, cars and airplanes. Others argue that while the nature of innovation is definitely changing as we evolve and adapt to an information-based digital economy, it’s impact is no less transformative. IT is now an integral part of the products themselves.

Are Innovation and R&D Yielding Decreasing Returns?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Given the pace of technological change, we tend to think of our age as the most innovative ever. These innovations, first developed in the late 19th and early 20th century, have long been transforming the lives of billions. Since the 1970s, US productivity and income growth have dipped sharply except for an Internet-driven productivity boost between1996 and 2004. Innovation may be hitting a wall of diminishing returns.

Disruptive Innovation Revisited

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The recent New Yorker article, - The Disruption Machine: What the gospel of innovation gets wrong , - by Harvard history professor Jill Lepore , has led to a flurry of opinions on disruptive innovation. The New Yorker described the article as “Rethinking the innovation craze.” Others called it an “absolutely devastating takedown of disruptive innovation,” a concept that Lepore said is a “competitive strategy for an age seized by terror.”

Reflections on Innovation, Productivity and Job Creation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

For example, over the past year I have given a number of seminars on Technology and Innovation in the Service Economy. I have also been thinking a lot about the impact of these innovations on the productivity of the service sector of the economy in general, and in particular, on the kinds of jobs that we can expect to be created over the next decades to replace those jobs that might decline or disappear as a result of such productivity improvements.

Remote Work is Surprisingly Productive, But For Many… Something Is Missing

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Despite having to switch from face-to-face to audio and video interactions, overall productivity actually went up as measured by several metrics. His article discussed two separate productivity case studies, one focused on working from home (WFH), the second on working from anywhere (WFA). A 2018 paper evaluated the difference in productivity between WFH and WFA programs, based on the experiences of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Cloud, Services and the Transformation of Production

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I’ve been particularly interested on the impact of cloud on services, not surprisingly given my interests in service science , - the application of science, technology and innovation to the world of services. Cloud-based services require a much more standardized, mass customized , process oriented, industrialized approach to production , including the application of advanced technologies and rigorous science, engineering and management methodologies. .

Disruptive Innovation Revisited

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Disruptive innovation was first introduced by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen in a 1995 Harvard Business Review (HBR) paper co-written with Joseph Bower. The concept was further elaborated and popularized in Christensen’s 1997 bestseller The Innovator's Dilemma , and in the articles and books he’s written or co-authored since then. 20 years after its introduction, Christensen has revisited his original concept in What is Disruptive Innovation? ,

Global Arbitrage and the Productivity Puzzle

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about The Productivity Puzzle , - namely that despite our continuing technology advances, the US and other developed economies have experienced a sharp decline in productivity growth over the past 10 to 15 years. So far, though, economists have failed to reach consensus on the causes of the productivity growth slowdown or indeed the relative significance of the various arguments,” wrote McKinsey.

The Blockchain and Open Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Transformational innovations don’t always play out as originally envisioned. In addition to developing standards and organizing promotional activities, these various organization make available open source implementations of their software releases, thus encouraging collaborative, open innovation. It can be used to help companies manage the flow of goods and related payments or enable manufacturers to share production logs with OEMs and regulators to reduce product recalls…”.

The 2018 MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In 2016, MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy launched its first annual Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC). The IIC believes that Inclusive Innovation is an economic and moral imperative, and that the key question of our era isn’t what technology is going to do to our economy and society, but what we will do with technology. Lynk is an online platform that helps Kenyan artisans showcase and promote their products and services.

From Mass Production to Mass Individualism

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

All kinds of new products and services, like Airbnb, are now coming to market. Mass production was a defining hallmark of the 20th century industrial economy, bringing high productivity and low costs to a wide variety of offerings, - from household appliances to hotel chains. But, digital technologies and lots of information have been eroding the power of large-scale mass production.

The MIT Inclusive Innovation Competition

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

As i ts website explains: “While digital technologies are rapidly transforming both business practices and societies and are integral to the innovation-driven economies of the future, they are also the core driver of the great economic paradox of our time. On one hand, productivity, wealth, and profits are each at record highs; on the other hand, the median worker in America is poorer than in 1997, and fewer people have jobs.

Disruptive Innovations and Large Companies

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The subject of my seminar was Managing Technology-based Disruptive Innovations. Given my long career at IBM, as well as my more recent involvement with Citi, it is not surprising that I am particularly interested in entrepreneurship and innovation in large companies. Its lead article defined the term as: “somebody who offers an innovative solution to a (frequently unrecognised) problem. Startups are generally organized around one central innovation.

Innovation on the cusp: symbiosis

Dave Snowden

Over the last year I’ve been starting sessions with my use of Apex Predator theory to combine Moore’s Crossing the Chasm with Clayton Christensen’s ideas of disruptive innovation and various uses of S-Curves. Part of that (and this goes back to Data Sciences days) is to find ways to sell products on the other side of the chasm, avoiding the early adopter phase moving into early majority to get first mover advantage.

The Real Unemployment Innovation Challenge

John Hagel

Re-framing innovation. Many people have put their faith on innovation as a way to resolve the unemployment challenges that we face.  If we’re going to address the challenges ahead, we need to re-frame what we mean by innovation. Rather than focusing on product or service innovation, or even process and business model innovation, we need to focus on a form of innovation that isn’t yet on the agenda of our leaders – institutional innovation.

Organizational Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Almost seventy years ago, Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter popularized the term creative destruction to describe the process of transformation that accompanies disruptive innovation. In Schumpeter's vision of capitalism, innovative entry by entrepreneurs was the force that sustained long-term economic growth, even as it destroyed the value of established companies that enjoyed some degree of monopoly power.

Market-facing Innovation Labs

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, they are being reincarnated in our 21st century information economy as market-facing innovation labs, with significantly different and broader scopes than those of the original industrial economy research labs. Their job was to push the frontiers of knowledge by conducting both basic and applied research, which would hopefully, over time, lead to new commercial technologies and products. M arketing, was another distinct activity in a product ’ s life cycle.

Can IBM Watson Workspace Save Our Productivity?

Luis Suarez

Apparently, our productivity as employees has been plummeting since the mid 70s. Yet, productivity still is very weak and we don’t seem to succeed in figuring out who (or what) is to blame for that. Can we help redefine productivity for us all, once more, and, more interestingly, can we rely on technology, specially, AI, to help us out in that daunting task at hand? Yes, indeed, you are reading it right, since the mid 70s !

The 2016 MIT Inclusive Innovation Awards

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Several months ago, MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy launched its first annual Inclusive Innovation Competition (IIC). Instead of competing on creating the most advanced technologies or compelling startups, the IIC is focused on innovations aimed at improving the economic opportunities of middle- and low-income earners around the world. Let me close by explaining why I feel particularly proud to be associated with the Inclusive Innovation Competition.

Fostering an Innovation Culture: Talent, Discipline and Leadership

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Innovation has been a hot topic for the past few decades. Companies all over the world have integrated innovation into their overall strategies and marketing campaigns. Nations and regions have launched innovation initiatives in an attempt to attract such companies and their accompanying well-paying jobs. But, as I have learned over my long career , managing innovation initiatives is actually quite hard, much harder than it may at first appear.

Embracing Disruptive Innovations: Organizational Challenges

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I was asked to talk about the organizational challenges that companies generally face when embracing disruptive innovations like those being developed by ID3. Given that I had 15 minutes for my introductory remarks, I distilled them into three key points: the need for a clear, compelling strategy that the whole organization can rally around; the management of disruptive innovation initiatives; and the importance of top-down leadership and support.

Revolutionary, Ordinary Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

While the Square technology is very cool indeed, Davidoff’s key point is the ordinary nature of the innovation in question. The deal not only has the potential to change the way people pay for coffee and everything else, it also shows how small innovation applied to everyday tasks may be the next new thing for venture capital. Call it the rise of the ordinary innovators. Such major lab-based disruptive technologies are at one end of the innovation spectrum.

Are Innovation and R&D Yielding Decreasing Returns?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Given the pace of technological change, we tend to think of our age as the most innovative ever. These innovations, first developed in the late 19th and early 20th century, have long been transforming the lives of billions. Since the 1970s, US productivity and income growth have dipped sharply except for an Internet-driven productivity boost between1996 and 2004. Innovation may be hitting a wall of diminishing returns.

innovation means learning at work

Harold Jarche

“So it is important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all philosophy in terms of successful innovation. Innovation is continuous. Successful innovators and entrepreneurs all embrace change and the risks that they pose. In fact, innovation is the poster child of the mantra that there are no rules. Only by trying out new things, by failing, by discovering what works and what doesn’t, do you gain answers to the innovation question.” – Shaun Coffey.

Services, Production and Clouds

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Over the past several years I have given a number of seminars on technology and innovation in services. So, like many others, I have discussed services and their attributes in contrast to what they are not - physical products that are generally manufactured in factories. As these examples illustrate, the historical distinction between product and services is now blurring. Consequently they are very much open to innovation and productivity increases.”

The “Recombinant” Nature of Digital Innovations

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Killer-app is the name we give to those IT applications that turn out to be unexpectedly useful and help propel the success of a new product or service in the marketplace. Most everyone will agree, for example, that spreadsheet and word processing were the first killer-apps of the PC era, helping transform PCs into must-have business and personal productivity tools. Companies were thus able to engage in their core transactional activities in a much more productive and efficient way.

Become a More Productive, Empathetic, Creative Person With the Help of AI-Based Tools

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Despite dramatic advances in technology, most of the world’s economies have been stuck in a long period of slow growth and slow productivity. In a recent article in the MIT Sloan Management Review , MIT Research Fellow Michael Schrage proposed a provocative and counterintuitive approach for enhancing innovation and productivity through man-machine collaborations. Instead of just asking how can people create more valuable innovation?,

Solow Paradox 2.0: The Lagging Impact of Technology Advances on Productivity Growth

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Our aging economies are thus dependent on productivity gains to drive long-term economic growth , future prosperity and higher standards of living. Which is why few topics have generated as much concern among economists and policy makers as the sharp decline in productivity growth in the US and other advanced economies over the past decade, - despite accelerating technology advances. Their average productivity growth in the 5 years between 2000 and 2004 was 2.4%.

Global Arbitrage and the Productivity Puzzle

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about The Productivity Puzzle , - namely that despite our continuing technology advances, the US and other developed economies have experienced a sharp decline in productivity growth over the past 10 to 15 years. So far, though, economists have failed to reach consensus on the causes of the productivity growth slowdown or indeed the relative significance of the various arguments,” wrote McKinsey.

Innovation Hubs in the Global Digital Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Last week I wrote about Cloud, Services and the Transformation of Production , based on Part I of Escape from the Commodity Trap: Will the Production Transformation Sustain Productivity, Growth and Jobs? , Part II of the paper deals with the economic and policy implication of this ICT-based production transformation. . Clearly, the way out of this trap is to create distinctive high value added products - both goods and services. Product creation.

Win an award for an innovative project, product, or practice

Jay Cross

George Siemens , Tony Karrer , and I are pleased to announce the LearnTrends 2009 Innovation Awards. The awards are designed to recognize products, projects, processes, and companies that represent interesting innovations in applying technology for Corporate / Workplace Learning and Performance. We want to recognize innovations, from individuals to teams to enterprises. Tags: Innovation

Innovation as a Journey into the Future

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I recently read an excellent innovation report, - Strategic Orientations for Innovation: Chile in the 2025 Horizon. The document was developed by Chile’s National Innovation Council for Competitiveness (CNIC) , a public-private organization charged with providing advice to the President of the Republic on policies that will strengthen innovation and competitiveness in the country. This was like no innovation document I’ve read.

Once Lumbering, Now Innovative Incumbents Hit Their Stride

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Even in industries where competitive concentration is increasing, innovation hasn’t – as would be expected – flatlined.”. But they stand in close agreement on two areas: 68% of executives said that their organizations will emphasize customer experience over products, and 63% said that they will continue to expand their networks of business partners. They’ve outperformed their peers in financial results and innovation over the past three years.